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Burning Coals

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Kirishima was chopping vegetables for dinner when he heard a scream coming from the living room. Immediately, he dropped his knives and used his quirk to harden his body, ready to fight anyone who would endanger the safety of his family.

He ran through the house, all the while wondering how villains managed to find their address. As heroes, keeping the emplacement of their house was a big deal. In other circumstances, he would not have reacted so strongly, but his husband, Bakugou Katsuki aka Ground Zero, didn’t scream in fear for nothing.

When he finally reached him, Bakugou was crouched down on the floor near the fireplace, his legs pulled towards a him and his eye shut tight. Kirishima couldn’t make out his face, but it was clear he was crying. This startled the red head to no end. This wasn’t like his lover. He would fight till the end no matter what, not curl up and cry.

He was going to raise his voice when he felt the pressure of small fists on his leg, and he looked down, a feeling of relief washing over him as their daughter stared at him with big teary red eyes. The two loves of his life were here, and they didn’t seem to be injured. Right now, that was all he needed to know.

“Papa, Papa, Daddy isn’t feeling well! You must help him, please! I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”

“Shh, Ruby, my angel, it’s okay. I’m going to take care of it.” He promised in a whisper, taking his daughter in his arms until she nodded and stopped crying, giving him a big hug.

He couldn’t help but smile at how happy he was to have a life so perfect, with a loving family. He ruffled the dark hair of the child, making her giggle and smile. Temper-like, she took more from him than Bakugou, even though it was better not to contradict her when she was angry.

“Can you go play in your room for a while, the time for me to comfort your dad? It certainly won’t work otherwise.”

The girl agreed to his demand, even though she threw one more worried stare at the man sitting on the ground. Kirishima would have to spend more time with her afterward to make up for this, but it wasn’t like if he minded. Being near his two sun-shines was his reason for living.

He sat on the floor as well, a few feet away from Bakugou, getting closer inch by inch. His husband didn’t raise his head but muttered loud enough for him to hear:

“Don’t come any closer.”

Kirishima swallowed back a curse. If Bakugou didn’t even want to see him, then it had to be mad, this time. Usually, when something went wrong in their lives, he would discreetly seek Kirishima’s support. But this… This was new, and the red head didn’t like it.

“And can I know why?”

“Because I’m a fucking monster.”

Kirishima didn’t miss the violence of those words, of how Bakugou seemed to loathe himself right now. The red head let out a sigh and pressed himself against his husband’s side, taking his hand in his.

“Hmm, let me see. Here, with have an arm with five fingers. Then there’s a shoulder, a neck, mouth, nose, eyes… Sorry to disappoint you, but all that looks very human to me. No monster in sight.”

“You don’t understand, hair-for-brains. It’s Ruby…”

“What, did you finally teach her how to blow things up and then realized the threat you unleashed onto society?” Kirishima teased him, but it did nothing to stop Bakugou’s more and more persistent tears.

“You don’t understand, Eijirou. Our daughter… I… I’ve almost hit her.”

His statement put Kirishima to silent for a minute. Before he could ask questions about what happened, Bakugou was already trapped in a tornado of emotions.

“I… I looked away for what? Five seconds? And she was pulling her hands towards the fire, and she could have hurt herself. So fucking I panicked, grabbed her arm and began screaming at her, and… Oh god, Eijirou, I almost slapped her! I didn’t want to, it was mostly on instinct, but… I didn’t raise my hand on her, but the thought went through me, and… Oh god, I’m such a horrible father, I thought about hurting my own child, I barely stopped myself on time, and I could have… I could have… You can scream or kick at me, because fuck I deserve it! I thought all this shit was over, that I was finally becoming a better man, but look at me. Maybe those people who told me I was a fucking villain were right, maybe...”

“Hey, Katsuki, look at me.”

That stopped his ranting, and Kirishima pulled his husband in his arms, letting him sob against his shoulders. It wasn’t the first time Bakugou showed so much distress and weakness in front of him. Throughout the years, the red head had slowly made his way through his heart, to the point where his lover’s shell went down the moment they were together.

“You were afraid for her well-being, and you just reacted in the only way you know how when you try to protect someone, with your fists. But you stopped just in time, didn’t you? Because you understood you weren’t fighting a member of the league of villains, and that you didn’t want to hurt Ruby. All those years of struggling against Shigaraki and his minions took its tolls on all of us, you know. I don’t think you even frightened her. From what I saw, she was mostly worried about you and why you were crying.”

Bakugou listened attentively to Kirishima’s reassuring words but kept hiding his face against his shoulder, clearly ashamed by his own behavior. With the shaking voice, he asked again:

“But what if it happens again? I don’t want to be a fucking threat for my own family. I love you and I love our child, Ei, but what if I’m toxic for you? Maybe you would just be better off without me, and…”

This time, the red head moved so that Bakugou would be forced to look at him in the eye. He put his hands on his shoulders, their weight heavy on his clothes.

“You’d better listen to what I’m going to tell you, Bakugou. We need you. Ruby needs her father and I need my husband. We wouldn’t feel happier without you, or I don’t know what other rubbish you were thinking. This won’t happen again, I can tell just by looking at you, because right now you’re afraid and disgusted of what you might have done, that’s obvious. You’ll be careful not to do it, again, I’m sure of it. And I’ll be here to help you. Your anger issues have never been easy to deal with for you, I know, but I’ve always been here and that’s not gonna change, Katsuki. I’m here.”

“Damn, I hope you’re right, hair-for-brains. Fuck, I don’t want to become like Half-and-Half shitty father!”

“And you won’t before you care way too much about Ruby. Tell me who goes to play with her when she’s supposed to be punished, uh?”

“It’s not my fault, I can’t resist her damn puppy eyes.” Bakugou grumbled, and from that moment Kirishima could tell this battle was won.

He gently helped Bakugou to raise up, all the while offering him a smile full of sharp-teeth. He could tell his husband’s insecurities were still lingering over the surface, but they would work through it together. Gently, he kissed his lover’s cheek and slowly felt Bakugou calm down against him.

That was until they heard their little girl shriek happily next to them:

“Hey, Daddy, Papa, look at how fucking strong I am now!”

They both turned their head only to see Ruby standing next to the fireplace, her hand full of still red hot coals and raised high above her head as she was gleaming proudly, showing off her newly discovered quirk.

“Damn, that child is going to be the death of me.” Bakugou let out, looking like he was once inch away from fainting until realizing than the burning heat wasn’t doing any harm to his daughter.

“What can I say, she took from you, after all. Oh, and one more thing. I can help for the anger issues, but I’m afraid I can’t do anything about the cursing. That’s beyond my competences.”

“Oh fuck off, shitty-hair.” He mumbled “Go explain to our daughter that putting her hand in the middle of a fire isn’t a good thing to do.”

“Yeah, right. Because I’m sure that your mother explaining that you shouldn’t use your explosions without supervision did any good.”

“Don’t be a dick, Ei. I just want Ruby to be safe.”

“I know, but I have my conditions, to. We’re doing this together, okay? I mean, you’re the one with a more, let’s say, fire-y quirk.”

Bakugou sent him an insecure look, but before he could decline the offer, Kirishima slipped his hand in his and took a step towards their daughter, the child putting the coals back into the fireplace only to run to them and hug the blond-haired man.

“You see, Daddy, I can be real strong and manly too! So please stop being sad.”

Kirishima could almost see his husband’s heart melting, and he wasn’t surprised when new tears flew from his eyes, but for an entire different reason this time. The red head squeezed his hand to make him remember that he wasn’t alone in this anymore, that they would fight his inner demons together.

In that moment, Bakugou suddenly knew that he could do this, that he could be a good husband and father for his family. That the anger inside him didn’t have to consume his happiness and leave him crying in the middle of the ashes. He could do this, he could be strong, just like the rest of his family was for him.

He gave Kirishima the brightest smile in his repertory, no matter how unnatural it was for him to act like this, because the red head deserved it after everything he did for him.

Fuck, he just loved his family so much.